Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Christopher Columbus, and supports the standard of evaluating the impact of European explorers during the Age of Exploration. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students:

  • Why do some people choose not to celebrate Columbus Day?
  • What do they celebrate instead? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Did You Know?” or “Personalities.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY

Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a movie documenting Columbus’s arrival from the perspective of a Native person. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying the reasons for Columbus’ voyages.
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts that symbolize the multiple perspectives impacted by Columbus’s voyage. 

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about Christopher Columbus.  Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • How does perspective influence how history is taught? 
  • How can people gain a deeper understanding of historical events? 

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Christopher Columbus Challenge

Step 5: EXTEND LEARNING

Continue exploring Columbus’s legacy with a Primary Source Activity.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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